Items to Avoid in Garbage Disposal Drains, Part 1

While some homeowners don’t necessarily make this connection, the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink is absolutely a part of your home’s plumbing system. It connects to sink drains and often impacts the main sewer line as well, and its care is important for several related areas.

At My Buddy the Plumber, we’re happy to offer a variety of drain cleaning and sewer line repair services, including for kitchen sink drains and related garbage disposal concerns. Luckily, homeowners can put themselves in great position to avoid any garbage disposal issues if they simply avoid putting certain items or objects down this particular drain – this two-part blog series will go over several things that should not be put down the garbage disposal drain and will risk clogs or other issues if they are.

items avoid garbage disposal drains

Grease, Fats and Oil

Some of the most common issues with garbage disposals trace back to various cooking greases, oils or fats that are dumped down the garbage disposal drain. What homeowners aren’t thinking about when they take this action, however, is this: What happens when those liquids have time to sit for a while?

That’s right, they solidify. While they may be liquid form when you pour them down the drain, they’ll glom up and become solid with enough time, potentially leading to major blockages or clogs. Avoid putting these liquids down the drain, and instead put them in aluminum cans that can be placed in the trash.

Starchy Foods

Various foods with high starch quantity, such as pasta, potatoes or various rice and grains, can clog pipes over enough time. If such items need to be disposed of, such as if you’re peeling potatoes, use a strainer or trash can instead of throwing skins or related starchy items down the sink drain.


Garbage disposals are strong and powerful, but that doesn’t mean they’re meant to simply chew up any item you toss into them. Animal bones, for instance, should never be placed in the garbage disposal – the blades will likely break them down, sure, but they will become duller and may even experience significant damage as a result. Even if they don’t break down right away, they’re sure to do so sooner than they would have otherwise.

Egg Shells

Egg shells aren’t nearly as hard as bones, so why are they a risk? Well, because of their stringy membranes, which often wrap around the entire disposal and begin to clog pipes. It’s easy enough to throw egg shells in the trash, so make sure this is your primary receptacle.

For more on items to avoid placing down a garbage disposal drain, or to learn about any of our plumbing services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.